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World’s Simplest Starter Tech

New! NASH "PUSH" Button Starter Plunger Assembly

By Bandit with photos by Wrench
5/29/2022


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Okay, so here’s the confession. When I build bobbers or choppers, I try to keep everything simple and super reliable. For instance, electric start circuits, which involve starter relays, buttons, handlebar switches, you name it. Maybe Billy from Spyke came up with this system that eliminates almost everything.

They are the shit for reliable, no mess starting every time. There’s but one issue with these puppies, position. They are usually located on the front of the starter solenoid under the oil tank, which can be an issue for stock bikes.



It can also become an issue for bikes with pipes running over the transmission. The original design was chromed and clean but cumbersome to point a single finger at with its rounded surface. Gloves could help or hinder, plus it’s on the same side of the bike as the throttle.



On the very positive side, it’s the shit for reliability, clean bars, reduced wiring and the chopper spirit. So recently, I built a Panhead with a ’69 right case (kidney) and a ’79 left, alternator case. It was a crazy engine deal but turned out to be the perfect system to build something reliable, yet vintage. I had a blast building this bike.



But I had one issue with starting. I was cool, when the bike was cold, but when it warmed and the pipe was blistering reaching that puppy was a challenge, besides the chrome didn’t go with the vintage patina of the bike’s finish. One more item. The original design was clean as a whistle, but the spring pressure in the solenoid, made depressing the button somewhat of a challenge. Plus, the chromed button was rounded and easy to slip off.



Somewhere in the last decade of the ruling Spyke starter buttons, Taber Nash ran into these issues and started to think about a cool, safe, secure, and tough alternative. First, he realized how much a tad more push surface would help the operation. Then he discovered the need for a longer throw to bring the button into the light.



Here’s the company description:

Regular price $140.00

The newest addition to the original NMC Starter Button! The "PUSH" button starter comes in bronze or stainless-steel ?? button and is available now!

The "PUSH" button threads (1/2-13) onto the 4 ¼” starter button shaft. The plunger comes with a black powder coated steel body, steel shaft and bushing.

Just give it a push to start your bike! Fits most all 1.4 kw and 1.6 kw starters .


When first introduced to the Nash Push Button I was intrigued. My first consideration was the size and surface of the button. I didn’t realize how much farther it stuck out compared to the original almost 1-inch. I ordered one.

She stopped by to give me a hand painting the shop.
She stopped by to give me a hand painting the shop.



First, I removed the ground strap to my battery.



With an Allen T-handle wrench, I removed the three small fasteners holding the solenoid in place. It sprung out at me slightly. The Nash unit didn’t come with a new gasket, so I carefully removed the existing gasket and installed it into the new unit.



With the two units in hand, I discovered the differences in weight and the massive bolt Nash used to depress the solenoid. I became concerned and studied both units.

The extended casing was also bulky and steel. Again, I was concerned about the overall weight and the tiny Allen head fasteners holding it in place. It took a while to get my head around the differences in the units.



Once installed and carefully tightened, the benefits became apparent. I installed the fasteners with the T-handle again. I’m not a fan of torque wrenches especially for smaller fasteners. I’ll use them on head bolts, engine shaft nuts and massive stuff, but when it comes to smaller fasteners, it’s easy to over tighten with that long-handled bastard. If you don’t feel or hear the click, you could be fucked.



I have a couple of pals who won’t attach any fasteners without a torque wrench. In a sense that wrench removes the responsibility, knowledge and feel from the mechanic.
There are other factors to consider, like the fastener material, the thread pitch, the base material and the age of the fasteners and material. The feel, knowledge and prep are everything. There’s that notion of tightening a bolt until it feels snug then tightening just enough to put the correct tension against the fastener and the threads to keep it in place and doing its job without damage.

Okay, fuck it. I snugged down the stainless Allens, hooked up the battery and tested it. Worked like a champ, even with gloves. The extended unit delivered the button into the light of day and made it easier to reach and depress.
Click for action.
Click for action.


 
Let’s ride.







I reached out to a longtime Harley tech to review my article. He made some very good points:

Anytime you can reduce extra wiring relays etc. It's a good thing.
The Nash starter button does all that. The bronze button looks good to me. More character for me.

I hear you on using torque wrenches on small fasteners. You need good torgue wrenches when using them on inch-pound specs.

Also, I go with lower setting than is specified. Then maybe go to the middle spec. I have a Snap-on inch-lb. clicker and a Matco needle/dial inch pound wrench also.

I use the Matco needle/dial mostly when servicing late model H-D Springer rockers. A clicker torque wrench doesn’t work for rocker-stud adjustment. In addition, the Matco goes below 40-inch-pound limit that the Snap-on has.
So, when you can make any part of an H-D electrical system easier and less complicated, do it. Simplicity means more reliability on a H-D!!

--Pablo

The 5-Ball Vest that breathes! Pit Crew vest with Brown Trim...
The 5-Ball Vest that breathes! Pit Crew vest with Brown Trim...


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Reader Comments


Will this work on a 1965 FLH starter ? Might be my fix for a temperamental handlebar button

Anson
Houma , La
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Editor Response Nope,

Although I used feeler gauges to do something similar on old solenoids. Make sure you insulate the point you press.
--Bandit

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